Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scattered, Unadapted, And Forgotten

When I first heard about Annalee Newitz's book "Scatter, Adapt, And Remember, How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction" I thought to myself "this sounds like a really cool book, I want to read this!" I had a Barnes & Nobel gift certificate, so I headed down to Aliso Viejo's B&N and bought myself a hard back copy.

I read it in August and September, intermittently at the beach, while watching the sunset, or absorbing UV and making vitamin D.  Chapter after chapter I kept hoping it would get better, or "pull itself together" into a unified cohesive theory.  Instead it devolved into a seemingly never ending series of disconnected interviews with academics.  I was sorely disappointed.

Perhaps my expectations were set far too high?  Maybe Newitz's writing style and my reading style are just not compatible in any sort of copacetic way? But I think it was her disclaimer in the first chapter that the book was NOT going to be an actual survival guide or manual for survivalists, but rather a commentary about what might, eventually happen, and how humans might try to cope with it future mass extinction events as a united "one big happy planet"could attempt.  And that kumbaya unification sounds so non-sensical and impossibly imagined in today's fractured and subdivided world that I found the theories put forth in the book laughably impossible.

This is the first book I've ever bought, and then given away to charity, without offering it up to my other family members or friends to also read & enjoy.  If you're looking for my copy, contact the Salvation Army of Orange County.

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